How do deconstruction and Frankfurt School Critical Theory think and write about

literature? Over the last decades, the view that literature can be the object of a

science or Wissenschaft has been questioned. Rather than seeing the world of

literary works as a more or less autonomous sphere that corresponds in various

ways to social, economical, or anthropological realities, literature is portrayed as a

linguistic practice capable of always undermining every theoretical view or

ontological thesis about what literature is or does.

This challenge to Literaturwissenschaft and philological knowledge (Erkenntnis)

relies on thinkers in the tradition of both deconstruction and Frankfurt School

Critical Theory, thinkers like Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Peter Szondi,

Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthes. This panel

invites contributions that investigate and juxtapose these thinkers’ practices and

theories of reading and writing (about) literature.

How do the thinkers associated with the labels “Frankfurt School” and

“deconstruction” rely on specific linguistic practices in their critique of the

philosophical tradition? What productive intersections or tenacious differences can

be found in their concepts of language or textuality? What aesthetic and literary

traditions do they invoke or criticize, and how do their interventions work with

certain literary forms, genres, and authors? In view of these and other questions,

literature offers a stage on which the various ambitions and models of

literary theory and philosophical aesthetics can be brought into conversation.

Chairs: Geoffrey Wildanger (Brown University) and Dennis Johannssen (Brown


Please submit an abstract of 250 words by September 15, 2016 to

[log in to unmask] or [log in to unmask].

This CFP is online at:

Geoffrey Wildanger
Department of Comparative Literature
Brown University
******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Sean Franzel Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: